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European Parliament: Those Responsible for the Death in Detention of Sergei Magnitsky Should be Brought to Justice

Source: (Author), 13/05/10
The European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights has called for the judges and investigators who played a role in the detention and death in a Moscow pre-trial detention centre of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer with the Hermitage Capital investment fund, to be brought to justice. The statement appears in a press-release of 13 May 2010 on the outcome of a meeting of the Subcommittee.
The head of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights, Heidi Hautala, believes that the conditions under which Sergei Magnitsky was detained on remand and the refusal to provide him with medical aid can be equated with torture.
European Parliament representatives stressed that the names of the officials of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs involved in the Magnitsky case have been known for a long time, but none of them has as yet been brought to justice.
The European Parliament demanded that the judges and investigators responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky be punished.
As reported by Radio Liberty, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights called for all those responsible for the detention and death in the Moscow pre-trial detention centre of Sergei Magnitsky, the 37-year-old lawyer of the Hermitage Capital investment fund, be brought to justice.
Sergei Magnitsky, who was severely ill, was arrested at the end of 2008 and died in November 2009 in the Butyrka pre-trial detention centre. According to, representatives of Hermitage Capital believe that the prosecution and death of their Russian lawyer was linked to the fact that he “testified against corrupt members of Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and other government departments, implicating them in the embezzlement of 5,4 billion roubles from the Russian government.”
At the beginning of May, William Browder, head of Hermitage Capital, appeared before a Commission of the U.S Congress with a report on the Magnitsky case. During the hearing, William Browder read out extracts from notes made by Sergei Magnitsky while he was in detention. The lawyer wrote: “I’ve been kept in prison for a year now as a hostage by people whose sole concern is that those guilty of stealing 5,4 billion roubles from the government budget should never be exposed.”
Almost immediately after Magnitsky’s death a number of top officials from the Federal Penitentiary Agency were dismissed. Magnitsky’s death has also had a powerful resonance outside Russia. Recently the Commission of the US Congress on Security and Cooperation in Europe proposed that a number of Russian law enforcement officials connected with the Magnitsky case be denied entry to the US.
Topping the list of 60 officials are Aleksei Anichin, head of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Oleg Logunov, Anichin’s former deputy, and Viktor Grin, deputy Prosecutor General. Precise allegations were made against each of them. Aleksei Anichin, for example, gave permission for the instigation of the “repressive criminal investigation” against Magnitsky and repeatedly declined Magnitsky’s requests to remove from the investigation those officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who Magnitsky had accused of fraud. His deputy at the time, Oleg Logunov, directly oversaw the case against Magnitsky and obtained an extension of pre-trial detention from two months to three years. Viktor Grin, the deputy Prosecutor General, in the view of the Americans, “is responsible for closing the investigation into the actions of the officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs against whom Sergei Magnitsky had given evidence.”
Rights in Russia,
24 May 2010, 08:30